The historic Star Drug Store opened in 1917 as a pharmacy with a horseshoe-shaped, tile soda fountain counter. It is known as "the oldest drug store in Texas" and it was the first desegregated lunch counter in Galveston!

Today, guests can stop in for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch or the soda fountain. Plus purchase unique, nostalgic gifts and collectibles from this one-of-a-kind Galveston experience!

History of Star Drug Store

In 1886, the Scanlons, a prominent real estate family in Galveston, purchased land and built two buildings known as the Levy Building and the Star Drug Store. The Scanlons hired one of Galveston's most renowned architects, Nicholas Clayton, to design the buildings. He created attaching facades with asymmetrical window groupings consisting of arches and elaborate decor.

The original structure of the Star Drug Store was wood; this changed when Charles J. Michaelis, a local druggist, bought the building in 1906. Michaelis hired a contractor named J.W. Zempter, who without compromising Clayton's design, converted the building to brick. This fifteen thousand dollar renovation was completed in 1909.

In 1917, the Star Drug Store was fully operational, and a horseshoe shaped, tile soda fountain counter was added to the pharmacy.

In the 1920s George Clampitt and Grady Dickinson purchased and operated the store until 1982. These two men maintained the integrity of the drug store as well as altered history when the Star became the first desegregated lunch counter in Galveston.

Ownership changed hands several times before a severe fire on Friday, March 13, 1998, closed the store indefinitely. In November 2001, the Tilts family purchased and began restorations of the building.

This five-year project included rebuilding and restoring the facade, two loft apartments upstairs, the historical Coca-Cola neon porcelain sign, and the drug store. The owners paid careful attention to detail so that their patrons would have a memorable experience. The original horseshoe counter, complete with the embedded red tile star in its prominent facade, still reigns as the Star Drug Store's most recognized emblem.

American, Breakfast, Deli/Sandwich


  • Family Friendly
  • Historic
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Woman Owned Business
  • Local Owned
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